It's been a good ten years since the last Devil May Cry game graced consoles and computers everywhere. Devil May Cry 4 wowed players with its deep combat system back in 2008, but it ultimately left a bad taste in the mouths of fans with its poor level design, plentiful backtracking, and oddly designed bosses.
A lot has changed since then; a new console generation, vastly improved technology, and stronger game engines have made game development a whole new beast. Capcom has taken the Devil May Cry franchise and revamped it for today's audience with all this in mind. It still has that classic hack-and-slash-gameplay but it looks, sounds, and feels completely new.
After spending time with segments of the game at Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, and other events, SYFY WIRE is highlighting the parade of ways that Devil May Cry 5 will modernize the demon-crushing franchise.
THE UNCANNY VALLEY
Game director Hideaki Itsuno made it very clear that they aren't just going for realistic graphics with Nero and Dante's latest adventure — they wanted it to be photorealistic. Itsuno and his team wanted Devil May Cry 5 to look so good that it inspires the feeling of the uncanny valley, where digital faces look so real that it's actually unsettling to the people playing.
I'm not sure if they hit that mark, but that doesn't mean that the game doesn't look fantastic. Nothing in 2008, or several years after that for that matter, look anything close to this good. Some longtime series fans may have a bit of whiplash after playing it for the first time.
A DYNAMIC SOUNDTRACK
Devil May Cry is all about style. It's about slicing dozens of demons into tiny pieces with a sick soundtrack in the background. Luckily, the newest game improves on that feeling tenfold. One of the biggest ways it does so is with a dynamic soundtrack that adapts to how well you slay those evil fiends.
It's something that Itsuno has wanted to implement since Devil May Cry 3 but never had the chance to until noew. As you play in Devil May Cry 5, the chorus, instruments, and vocals will ebb and flow with you as you play. If you rack up high combos and kill dozens of bad guys you'll get rewarded with beautiful anthems — but if you keep falling on your face you'll never experience the full width of the game's music.
Luckily the difficulty is customizable, so you can hear the best music the game has to offer even if you're lacking in the demon killer department.
NEW DEVIL BREAKER WEAPON
The Devil Breaker is Nero's main weapon (a replacement for his ripped off Devil Bringer arm) that has multiple cartridges types that give it different abilities. There's eight available in the base game, including the helter-skelter's spinning blades that cut up enemies and the razor whip-daunting rawhide that turns Nero into everyone's male dominant.
While Devil May Cry 5's core combat is very similar to previous games in the series, the Devil Breaker brings a little variety in how players can approach combat situations. There's also room for more types to be added post-release alongside any other content that Capcom has planned.
YEARS OF FAN FEEDBACK
Fans of the series have not been quiet for the past 10 years — they've voiced their need for a new Devil May Cry entry whenever they've had a chance to get in Capcom and Itsuno's ear. During interviews at Gamescom, Itsuno couldn't thank them enough for their passion and interest in the franchise.
That connection with the fanbase means that Itsuno is well aware of the complaints that fans had around Devil May Cry 4 and that they're working to correct them. It's clear that many of those issues have already been addressed as boss fights feel meaningful and level design is already a cut above the last game.
A (HOPEFULLY) SATISFYING STORY
Devil May Cry has always had a cheeky, B-Movie story with over-the-top plotlines and wild clashes between demons in hell. While this latest entry is trying to be a little different — everything about the production of the game should increase the excitement of in-game moments. The soundtrack, photorealistic visuals, and combat could make cutscenes look, sound, and feel rewarding.
If the most recent trailer is anything to go off of (be wary of spoilers before watching this one), then the newest entry in the series will be incredibly satisfying to longtime fans of the series.